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Unexpected Death in Family: How To Sell Quickly

An unexpected death in the family can become a big headache if there are properties that are left unsold. If you have a relative with properties who unexpectedly died, the best thing to do about is to either divide it or get rid of it. But how do you do this? If you plan on selling it then you must know what needs to be done to execute the transaction properly.

Estate Sale: What is it?

Estate Sale or tag sales is the term used when you are selling a home after the death of a relative. It can also be interpreted in many ways like if you are not a realtor, you might think that an estate sale is something that sells furniture. But in reality, this is a sale selling a property for one of the heirs of the owner.

When it comes to selling the house of someone who has passed is in some ways similar to selling any other house. The only difference is that there are some extra considerations like dealing with the potential hassles of the estate sale so selling the property a lot easier.

Making an estate sale is challenging. Not only are you going to sell the house of a person who died but you also have to deal with the child or children of the departed. The memories made in this house can make the selling a bit difficult but often times, it’s the children who will wonder on what to do about the house. If the task of selling the house is left to you, then you need to know the best way to do it and sell it quickly. Here’s what you need to know:

8 Steps in Selling the House After the Death of a Loved One

Before you sell the house of a loved one or relative after their death, you must first know what to do about it. Here are some things you should consider:

  • Transferring of real estate after the owner dies 

dealing with the death of a loved oneIf the estate of the person who died did not leave any will then the real estate passes this property to the direct heirs at law. They can also pass this to the beneficiaries if they left a will with it. If the departed is a single parent, the house can be equally divided to his or her children. The children or heir do not need a court to transfer the property to them as this is done directly. But what happens when the home is to be sold?

The first step is to ensure that the executor was given the authority to liquidate this real estate. Instructions are usually written and specified in the will in case the owner does decide to sell it once they have passed on. So it is important to check that the executor has the actual power for this. If they don’t have one then the beneficiaries hold the right to do whatever they want. Either they keep the property or sell it will depend on them as the beneficiaries.

Different states in the US have laws on how to sell a house as an estate whether it has a will or not. Speaking to a qualified real estate attorney is always the best step to take before making any sales. However, there are a few things you must consider too. One is that when the estate to be sold has more debts than assets then this is called insolvent. If this is the case then it is not important to pay the debts you don’t have but the state law will give you the list of priorities to follow.

  • Paying the bills for the home

It is best to stay up to date with the current bills that this house has until you have finalize the home sale. This means you have to keep up with the maintenance, utilities and mortgage of the house. This is also because service providers and mortgage companies still expect to receive payment.

If the death in your family is an older parent then some companies can do a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is a financial agreement where the homeowner relinquishes equity in their home in exchange of regular payments. This is done to supplement retirement income so make sure that you follow the steps when selling in this kind of circumstances. However, if you want to avoid further complications, you have to make sure that these are paid until you are sure that you no longer want their services.

  • Make sure to collect the important documents related to the house

Gathering all documents could be a daunting task to do but it is also the most important part of the process. Collecting the needed financial documents is a must that are essential in the distribution of the estate. Without these documents, nothing can be accomplished. If the former owner is keen with their documents then you will find them in one place that they either kept hidden or in front of them. Among the documents you need include the following:

  • A will, if there is any
  • Receipts from creditors
  • Insurance documents
  • Investment documents
  • Policy on their house as homeowner
  • Statement accounts from banks
  • Other personal documents or files (could be a journal, diary etc.)

Once everything is gathered the important docs, get rid of the others that has personal information written in it. Shredding would be the best way to do so, this way identify theft can be avoided and your loved one’s property is protected.

  • Changing of locks and mail delivery

As the executor, you must have complete control of the property. This means you have to change all the locks or security system as well as mailing address so you can get the documents you need. Keep in mind that there will be people who will know about the death of your relative and the fact that the house is vacant. So you need to secure the place and protect whatever is left in the said property.

  • Filter everything in the house

Go through all the things that your relative or family left. Make sure to check if there things that needs to go or stay. Organize the house as well and make sure it is clean once you are done with it as this will make way for the new owners. Clearing the house can be emotionally draining but it will help clear out any clutter or mess that the previous owners had before their death. If they have valuable items in the house then this can help maximize the value of the property.

  • Make the house market-ready

This means that you have to take a quick evaluation of the house and do some renovations needed if necessary. This means you have to see if there are any problems with the water system, pipes, furnace, etc. You must also get rid of old furniture, strip old wallpaper and give the house a fresh makeover. Add even more life to the house by fixing or replacing old light bulbs. Replenishing the floors can also add value to the house and dressing or staging the house for potential buyers can definitely make a big difference. Of course, you don’t have to do this by yourself. Find a person who can do all the work and get the property ready in no time.

  • Find and hire a top-performing real estate agent

Selling an estate should be done through a real estate agent who has experience in this kind of case. Always remember that the kind of real estate agent you pick for the job will affect the success of the sale. He or she must know how to put the right price on the property, must have an excellent marketing plan and knows where to place the property to attract buyers. They must also keep in constant communication with you so you can also monitor the progress of the sale.

  • Transparency is a Must

If the estate is for sale, most interested buyers will ask if the owner died in the property or if someone has died in the house. The best approach you can do is to be honest about it. If your relative died in the house, tell the potential buyer about it. Why should you do this? This is because many buyers will find this fact creepy and might be upset if they knew about it from other people. That being said, you must be willing to divulge this to your potential buyer as early as possible. If they are okay with it, great! If not, then you can always find someone else who will be more than willing to buy the house. So make sure that your real estate agent include a disclosure on this one before selling the property.

Final Thoughts

Selling the property of a relative in the wake of their death is a trying time. In fact, they also come with tax (check the IRS guidelines in your state), so yes it is not always a fun thing to do! It is not fun to sell a house where memories were made and cherished by a loved one but I hope that you find these tips helpful, good luck on making that sale!

jesse phalin
jesse phalin
01:29 18 May 21
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Went above and beyond assisting me through this process. Helped me move my things and even let me leave what I wasn’t taking with me. Thanks for all of the hard work.
Kelly Stewart
Kelly Stewart
21:27 08 May 21
My husband handled the process but felt good dealing with this local company and they did not try to change price after seeing the house. They actually offered higher once they saw our home. Had 5 companies come our to give us bids and they all were bait and switch. They beat everyone’s offers too. We tried to list before and couldn’t sell. I don’t know why anyone would work with head aches of real estate agents and paying commissions, banks, inspectors and the time to close only to walk away with the same money. Thank you Ryan and Jamie.
degan Stewart
degan Stewart
21:23 08 May 21
Thank you guys so much. Jamie is so sweet and on it. Ryan Is one of the most genuine people I’ve met in Vegas. They did what they said they’d do when they said they would and kept us in the loop the whole time
Brian Higgins
Brian Higgins
22:00 04 May 21
Thank you guys so much for everything. Ryan and Jamie Helped me find a place to get out of our old place. It was so nice to have the moving company just handle everything for me.
Sheila Winn
Sheila Winn
19:05 09 Apr 21
I struggled with the idea of selling my house to a "flipper". This company was fair, professional and extremely helpful every step of the way. I never had to wait for a response from Kelly Schnippel when I had a question or concern.I personally would recommend them to anyone looking to get a fair price for their property all the while getting kindness, professionalism and assistance from the buyer.Thank you Kelly Schnippel! I appreciate YOU and your team!Sheila Winn
Valerie Grijalva
Valerie Grijalva
17:30 27 Feb 21
Casey and his team will handle your transaction with the upmost professionalism and class like no other. Their knowledge in real estate will exceed your expectations and you won't be disappointed from beginning to end with their communication and systems to ensure your goals are met. I highly recommend Casey and his team!
Ann Reback
Ann Reback
18:51 25 Feb 21
Thank you for your professional and personal help in this process. You and your team have been so knowledgeable, responsive, courteous and kind...understanding my goals and executing each step in a timely and professional manner! THANK YOU! I will recommend you and your team to friends and others in our community.
Aviv Ben Shimon
Aviv Ben Shimon
16:38 25 Feb 21
Jess Lapensee
Jess Lapensee
16:31 25 Feb 21
From start to finish the selling process was quick and easy!
Eyal Karban
Eyal Karban
16:22 25 Feb 21
The best team in the business!Really helped us to cash out our home, very fast, very professional, great price, thank you!
jevim kale
jevim kale
04:17 27 Jan 21
Best experience with We Buy Any Vegas House. Extremely knowledgeable about home selling process and marketing. Wonderful people to work with. Highly recommend if you are looking to sell your home in Las Vegas NV.
Kate 7Timmons7
Kate 7Timmons7
01:02 26 Nov 20
We were looking to sell our home and called We Buy Any Vegas House so we could get more information. We spoke to Casey Ryan. Ryan was informative, answered our questions, and he went out of his way to give us the best advice on selling our home. Kelly was also helpful and was quick to answer any questions we had.We recommend calling We Buy Any Vegas House to anyone interested in selling their home.
Towik Jes
Towik Jes
05:36 16 Nov 20
I recently helped my parents sell their home due to unforeseen events and We Buy Any Vegas House.com made the process smooth and easy. Their company offered a very reasonable price for my parents home and they closed in 30 days as promised. Look no where else!
Alexa Pughlet
Alexa Pughlet
04:15 17 Sep 20
We Buy Any Vegas House is a very good company to work with, they were very professional and knowledgeable about their business. They made it very easy to work with them. If i ever had to sell my house again I would definitely call them first. Thank you guys for helping me out in my time need.
Pauletta Smith
Pauletta Smith
21:08 02 Sep 20
I contacted them on 8/06/2020 and had my check in my hand on 9/01/2020! They were fast, professional, and gave me a very fair offer for my property. I had to get out of my house pretty quick because of a medical problem and I was able to do most of the paperwork on line. The title company they worked with was great. Very fast and very thorough. No snags. Easy transaction! Signed all the papers and had my money 5 days later. I would recommend them to anybody. Plus...packed and took what I needed and left the rest. No cleaning or trying to find someone to take what I didnt want. Awesome! Thank you.
James Aimery
James Aimery
05:11 08 Aug 20
We Buy Any Vegas House was a great business team. Staff were helpful, friendly and responsive. I was able to sell my house within 2 months in an area where real estate agents are struggling with many properties on the market for much longer periods. I would recommend them to anyone thinking of selling.
Wayne Romerobel
Wayne Romerobel
03:57 30 Jun 20
These guys are the best place to sell your house in Las Vegas. They gave me a fair price and closed quick for maximum convenience. These people are professional, efficient, and extremely friendly.
Lynne M
Lynne M
04:52 24 Jun 20
I have nothing but positive things to say about this company! I needed to sell a house quickly after a death in my family. I spoke with several Cash for Houses Companies in Las Vegas and settled on We Buy Any Vegas House. Everyone was very sensitive about my situation, helpful, answered all my questions and extremely responsive when I called. Ryan and Kelly were awesome!After we settled on a price everything went super smoothly in escrow and again if I had any concerns or questions there was immediate feedback. Also the fact that I was able to do this remotely as I live in California was extremely helpful! I am so grateful for all the help I received during a very challenging time in my life.
Frank Lyod
Frank Lyod
04:21 12 Jun 20
Great team! Glad we chose We Buy Any Vegas House team who understood the market of real estate in our city. They gave us a fair cash offer for our home. We accepted and closed very quickly. We are happy with the outcome and the way we were treated from start to finish.
Sharla Olivaresretento
Sharla Olivaresretento
04:20 28 May 20
Had a really great experience working with We Buy Any Vegas House.com! I really needed to sell my house in Las Vegas and they helped out. Thank you so much!!
Tom Cruz
Tom Cruz
04:11 12 May 20
If/when I do decide to list my home, We Buy Any Vegas House will be the first place I call. They are professional, helpful, and friendly. They provided a lot of helpful information during the course of our business.
Robinson Hunk
Robinson Hunk
04:31 25 Apr 20
We Buy Any Vegas House buyers is a great blessing to my family. Our house was actually sold very fast, in just 7 days processed. Thank you so much!
Florinda Shuff
Florinda Shuff
04:42 08 Apr 20
Las Vegas home buyers has been great to work with. They’re very knowledgeable in real estate and always do what they say. I highly recommend We Buy Any Vegas House.
Florinda Shuff
Florinda Shuff
04:53 21 Jan 20
I got an amazing job offer down in Las Vegas and needed to sell my house fast. First, they explained everything to me and how it all works (selling your house for cash). The process was pretty easy and quick which I appreciated greatly!!
Freddy Aleman
Freddy Aleman
18:47 27 Dec 19
My wife and I recently bought a home from Casey Ryan. The home we purchased is located in Centennial Hills. Gorgeous remodel. Casey and his team did a great job of designing the home. We ran into a couple of issues shortly after moving in. Casey had his people out quickly during Christmas week to make a couple of repairs. He gave my wife and I peace of mind during a chaotic holiday week and for that we will always appreciate him. I would recommend a Casey Ryan home to my friends and relatives.
Angela Rienstra
Angela Rienstra
21:06 26 Dec 19
I needed to sell my house from out of state ASAP. I looked into some other larger name companies and was disappointed with their turn-around time and lack of customer service. I'm so grateful to have found Ryan (and Kelly)! They understood my time crunch and moved heaven and earth to buy my house at a fair price and closed by the promised date. They were with me every step of the way and offered world class service! 100% would recommend to anyone!
Sue Kuckelmann
Sue Kuckelmann
17:02 16 Nov 19
We couldn’t be more pleased with the service provided. From start to finish the team was professional and extremely helpful. All the deadlines were met or exceeded even when I was in Arizona and my husband was in Las Vegas. I would recommend them to anyone who is looking to sell in Las Vegas.
Sam Thompson
Sam Thompson
17:47 25 Oct 19
Great people and very professional. Treated me and my situation fairly and with care.
Mandy Majano
Mandy Majano
01:49 07 Oct 19
They did exactly what they said they would. Great company! Highly suggest!
Anthony Montonini
Anthony Montonini
01:31 07 Oct 19
Thank you guys. We were selling our house to Casey And Ryan and there was some HOA liens that totaled over $40k and they met with the HOA board with me and got them reduced to less than $5k so I walked away with $35k more than I thought I was going to. True professionals!
Nicole Dur
Nicole Dur
01:20 07 Oct 19
My grandma needed help selling after my grandpa passed :( anyways I found them through google and they really treated her like their own family. And let us leave a lot of the stuff she had accumulated over 40 years in the house. Thank you Casey and Ryan!!
pat rolman
pat rolman
01:13 07 Oct 19
These guys have true character. We signed agreement to buy my house then my situation changed and they didn’t force me to move forward. Then 2 months later I needed to sell it and they helped me find a new place any everything. They are really Great people.
That_one_random_ Crafter
That_one_random_ Crafter
00:06 24 May 19
This was so easy Casey was very helpful and kept in contact through the entire process thank you again for everything. Highly recommend this company.
Lela Leedham
Lela Leedham
03:08 22 Feb 19
Great experience working with Casey and Ryan. We would recommend them anytime. They are very knowledgeable and very professional.
Emily Binder
Emily Binder
21:16 18 Feb 19
Jennifer Gibbs
Jennifer Gibbs
19:58 18 Feb 19
A very impressive operation. Very professional and knowledgeable. They follow up when they say they will. Very helpful Team. If you're looking for a fast and fair cash offer on your home, these are the guys to call!
Mario Elizondo
Mario Elizondo
19:58 18 Feb 19
Very professional and a pleasure to work with.
Danny O'Bannon
Danny O'Bannon
19:53 18 Feb 19
I called 5 different companies from google trying to find a company that would pay the most for my rental and their offer was higher than the others. Extremely streamlined process. Easiest transaction I’ve done
Ross Greene
Ross Greene
18:04 17 Feb 19
Ryan & Casey were great to work with! Absolute pro's in the business. I would definitely recommend them. If only I could give them more than 5 stars. Hope to work with them again soon! Thanks guys!
Pam Dickerson
Pam Dickerson
23:53 15 Feb 19
Excellent customer service! Helped us through the entire process. Highly recommend!
steve Balsacker
steve Balsacker
19:35 14 Feb 19
Me and my wife had gone through a divorce and we wanted a quick way to get rid of our property so we could just move on with our lives, Thankfully Ryan came in and helped us out, I didn't have the time to deal with the headache of people coming in and out as well as all the repairs that were needed. He gave me top dollar for my home and I was out in 7 days!
jason almeida
jason almeida
16:52 14 Feb 19
We have seen their signs around town and thought it was a scam, we decided to give them a call and I couldn't have been happier with our experience. They were professional and knowledgable, they paid for all closing costs and even helped with our family move. Great guys and great company! Thanks again!
Peter Floratos
Peter Floratos
04:51 14 Feb 19
This team handles their business right. They are a pleasure to work with.
Tyler Hubbs
Tyler Hubbs
04:38 14 Feb 19
Ryan and Casey treated me with patience and respect during the whole transaction! Very trustworthy and explained each and every question I had!! I would highly recommend We Buy Any Vegas House!!
Avraham Metal
Avraham Metal
01:58 14 Feb 19
As a Real Estate Agent I have sold properties to Casey and his Team. They are men of their word and have never let me down.
Dena Shapiro
Dena Shapiro
01:29 14 Feb 19
What an AWESOME experience!! Casey and Ryan are THE BOMB!! They either answer their phone ALWAYS or respond within minutes. They originally called to see if I wanted to sell but I wasn't interested in selling. However, my neighbor had to sell immediately so I referred them to her, she accepted their offer & they closed escrow within weeks. It would've been A LOT sooner but there were delaying issues on the seller side. Anyways, they got it closed & EVERYONE is happy!! Thank you so much Casey & Ryan :). YOU'RE THE BEST!!!
Ron Lorenzo Woods
Ron Lorenzo Woods
00:51 14 Feb 19
Great team with quick and professional service!
karina giraldo
karina giraldo
00:36 14 Feb 19
Knowledgeable, fair, and professional. I loved working with Casey. I did my research before selecting a company, and I’m so happy I went with them!
Cody R
Cody R
00:27 14 Feb 19
Casey runs a great company that's honest, easy to deal with, and is always fair. I'd absolutely work with him again!
Whitney Carter
Whitney Carter
21:42 08 Feb 19
Grateful to have worked with such a great company! Long story, short they really did help me through a tough time. No need to get into details, but this company really knows what they are doing. Thank you for all of your help with my home. Highly HIGHLY recommend!
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